You should always seek professional advice from a qualified, experienced Rhode Island car accident lawyer for any accident that occurs in Rhode Island. This is true whether or not you think you have a case or aren’t yet sure you want to file a claim or lawsuit.
With over 35 years of experience in Rhode Island law, I’ve never known a person to regret hiring a car accident lawyer to help them after they were injured in a car crash. What you don’t know can hurt you and most car accident attorneys, myself included, take these cases on a contingency fee basis. If I don’t get a settlement or judgment for you, there’s no fee.
Reason #1: Time is Not on Your Side - A Car Accident Lawyer Is
The timeline of what you do after your accident is critical to your case. The most important factor is your health and wellbeing. If you’re injured, seek immediate medical attention. Doing so ensures proper medical care which is important to your recovery. But it also documents your injury and helps to connect your injury to the accident. After taking care of your immediate medical needs, the next thing to do is to book a consultation with a car accident lawyer, such as myself. There are important, time-sensitive deadlines for filing a claim that you don’t want to miss.
One of the worst parts of our job is having to tell someone that they’re unable to receive compensation because they either missed a deadline or worse, completely missed the window to file.
Whether you’re planning on filing an insurance claim or ultimately need to file a personal injury lawsuit, make sure you lay the proper groundwork right away.
Reason #2: Adjusters Don't Work For You
Lengthy court processes and associated fees cost insurance companies money. They don’t want that. Insurance adjusters are the company’s first line of defense against having to reach deep into their pockets to pay you. By delaying meeting with a car accident lawyer, you run the risk of compromising your case and allowing them to take advantage of it.
Another insurance adjuster tactic is to offer you a quick payout or what they deem a “fair” settlement. Accepting this quick settlement is rarely a good move. Resist the temptation to cash in quick, without consulting a lawyer. Hiring a car accident lawyer is your key to receiving the best possible settlement.
Reason #3: Your Injuries Can Be Worse Than You Think
In the days following your accident, you won’t necessarily know how injured you are or how difficult your recovery will be. It can be difficult to assess your limitations and gauge how your injury will impact everyday life right after the accident. If you break a limb, that is going to be pretty obvious, but soft tissue injuries, hairline fractures and spine injuries can take a while to completely assess.
If you don’t get properly assessed and don’t properly document your injuries and treatment, you may not be able to connect your injuries to the accident when months later you realize that you’re injuries are having a serious impact on your life.
This is another reason insurance adjusters try to quickly settle a claim from an unrepresented person. They want to close the case before you realize how hurt you are and how much your losses really total. That why you need to work with a skilled Rhode Island car accident lawyer. I’ve been helping clients recover damages for pain and suffering, emotional anguish, lost wages, and medical expenses for over 35 years. We can do the same for you and make sure you are able to prove your injuries and their connection to the accident.
Reason #4: You Need A Car Accident Lawyer to Prove Liability
Proving who’s at fault in an accident is not always easy or obvious. Not every case is a rearender and even those are not always as obvious as you would expect. Several factors are at play in determining liability including, your personal account, statements from witnesses and police, and photographs.
When it comes to assigning liability, Rhode Island is a pure comparative negligence state. Pure comparative negligence means that even if you’re partially at fault in the accident, you may be entitled to collect a portion of the damages.
Accidents that occur at intersections or those resulting from a car pulling out of a parking lot are prime examples of when pure comparative negligence comes into play. Even if you’re at fault for 80% of the accident, you could still be entitled to 20% of compensation.
An experienced car accident lawyer will help you get the best percentage if there is any question of liability. You’ll have the expertise you need by your side, citing references to cases and controlling statutes that support your position.
Reason #5: You May Settle for Too Little!
Though this reason is last in our list, it’s one of the most important reasons to speak with an attorney. Most cases settle out of court, which means the defendant or his insurance company is likely to offer you a settlement. As we stated earlier, your insurance adjuster’s primary objective is to ensure you collect as little as possible.
Often, you’ll receive what’s deemed a “fair” settlement by your insurance adjuster. These adjusters represent their employers best interest and know how to negotiate to win. The first settlement offer you hear is likely a low-ball offer. And, the next ones are also likely to be low-ball offers. A skilled attorney will help you understand if settlement offer is fair and determine whether or not you should settle at all.
Don't Make a Critical Mistake!
If you remember only one point, let it be this:
Once you settle, you give up your right to sue or receive further compensation—forever. A car accident lawyer will help you through the process, so you don’t settle for less than you deserve.
We often hear from people who are stuck paying bills resulting from an accident someone else carelessly caused. Several factors contribute to this, including:
– Missing a critical deadline to file a claim or suit in time
– Filing a claim or lawsuit against the wrong parties
– Suing for the wrong damages
– Accepting a low settlement offer
Once you accept a settlement offer, you are prevented from suing again. Losing your case as a result of improperly presenting it also prevents you from taking further action.
You only have one chance to recover damages and lost wages as a result of your injury. Let us help you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. Get an experienced car accident lawyer on your side.